A few months ago I published a review of the Trekpak system which I now use in all my Pelican Cases, and I ended the review with the prospect of another review once I had tried and tested their core product: The Trekpak backpack.
The Freerider Pro 30 is essentially a standard (albeit hardcore) alpine backpack from German manufacturer Deuter equipped with the now famous Trekpak dividers in order to use it as a camera pack. I have owned this pack for around six weeks now and have had the chance to test it in both New Zealand as well as the Aussie Outback and thought I would share my thoughts:
First of all it is important to establish that I am not an alpine athlete who spend every afternoon carving through fresh powder nor am I a dedicated ice climber scaling large frozen falls every weekend, so this review is based on my experience as a travel and adventure photographer and I have compared this pack to the other (camera) packs I have used (and abused) over the last years including;
- Lowepro Vertex 200 & 300
- Lowepro Dryzone 200
- ThinkThank Streetwalker
Let me start by saying that the size and shape of this pack is absolutely perfect for my daily use: I could comfortably fit in everything below:
Canon 5D mk3 body
Canon 7D body
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 24-105mm 4.0
Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS
Canon 16-35mm 2.8 (mounted on 5d)
Canon Extender 1.4x
Gopro Hero 3
Apple Macbook Air 13”
ND filters, batteries and extra CF cards (in ThinkThank sleeves)
On top of that I had space for a Patagonia smock, thin wool gloves, 2 head torches and a few other misc. items such as note pad, a water bottle and snacks.
The pack is officially rated as a 30litre alpine pack but with the Trekpak insert in the main compartment you are left with only little space for personal items – although this was never an issue for me as this pack has so many small but spacious compartments that easily lets you keep your gear organised and safe.
The large main compartment can be accessed from either the front or the back via a full back panel zip system
As mentioned above this pack is a modified alpine pack meaning that it offers you more attachment straps (helmet, bladder, A-frame etc) and carrying options than I have ever seen on any pack… ever.
If you often travel with skis, snowboard, crampons, helmet or similar this pack fits the bill
The area where this pack really shines is comfort.
This is by far one of the most comfortable camera backpacks I have ever owned and used and I can easily see why many snow sport enthusiasts prefers Deuter to other similar brands. .
When I initially purchased this pack from Trekpak I wasn’t entirely sure if it would live up to the hype or whether it could match my other pack in comfort and size however after six weeks of testing I can honestly say that I have found my new go-to pack: I constantly had between 9kgs and 14kgs on my back and I hardly noticed the pack due to the clever pivotal carrying system that distributes the weight evenly via the hip belt. The shoulder-straps are also nicely padded and perfect if you use the Capture from Peak Design.
I recommend this product to everyone who is in the market for lightweight technical camera pack that also happens to be one hell of a pack for most snow activities or if you just want a really really comfortable pack for your camera gear.
Thanks for reading
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